Michigan’s Popular Peach Harvest Is A Treasure | Wickwood Inn
Our Michigan Peach Season
No wonder “peaches and cream” is the phrase associated when life is smooth and perfect and it’s “just peachy” when things are going right. This beautiful, tasty fruit is truly a gift from the gourmet gods with its many varietals and near perfect blend of fleshy fruit and juicy flavorings.
And lucky for us, Michigan Peach growing season runs from early August through mid-September. The season is perfect for the popular varietals of ‘haven” peaches. These were developed at the nearby Michigan State University’s South Haven Experiment Station in the 1930s. This successful experiment extended the Michigan peach varietals’ growing season to seven weeks, as compared to the traditional two-week season. This just adds to the growing diversity in ‘The Fruit Belt’ of Michigan. In fact, Allegan County, Michigan is second only to one other American grower county, located in California, for the capacity of fruit grown. That is pretty impressive considering Michigan’s growing season is still shorter than a lot of agricultural areas.
“Life is better than death, I believe,
if only because it is less boring
and because it has fresh peaches in it.”
~ Alice Walker
In Michigan we grow so many varietals of peaches! Redhaven peaches, with their red over yellow skin and juicy, fine-grained flesh, have become a catch-all phrase for many of the haven peaches. Sunhaven, Richhaven, Glohaven and Cresthaven are just a few of these local wonders. Spend a morning sampling the many peach varietals at area Farmers’ Markets and you’ll start to appreciate the differences. With new flavors ripening all season long, the harvests are diverse and delectable.
West Michigan Farm Markets & Stands
You can always spend a delightful afternoon visiting the many area local produce roadside market stands. And perhaps you will choose to pick your own Michigan peaches at one of the local U-Pick orchards. Crane’s Orchard, Dutch Farm Market, McIntosh Orchards, Overhiser Orchards, Fruit Acres and Jollay Orchards are but a few of the Saugatuck, MI area u-pick farms.
Barden’s Farm Market, right in South Haven at 1101 Phoenix St., also has a special summer stand in the heart of Saugatuck, on Blue Star Highway and 64th Street. Over at Dutch Farm Market, also in South Haven, at 6967 109th Ave., the growing season begins in early August with its ripening Flaming Fury and concludes with September’s Baby Gold and Red Skin varieties. The options are many – and delicious! In Fennville, just down the road from Saugatuck, Dee’s Lakeshore Farm has been growing fresh Michigan peaches for decades. And Lyon’s Market is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
How We Serve Peaches
Whether you are using peaches by themselves, or as a sauce or topping, or an accent to a meal, the many ways to prepare them are limitless. At Wickwood Inn you may find Peaches & Blueberries on the breakfast buffet that we toss lightly with brown sugar with a splash of lemon juice. Our Peach Cobbler also makes an all-star appearance at Breakfast. In the evening, sliced juicy Michigan peaches adorn our cheeseboards along with our Peach Jam.
Two of our most popular recipes are the Silver Palate Cookbook’s Peach Cobbler Recipe and our favorite peach dish, Floating Island On A Creamy Peach Sea. These desserts are simply heavenly, and a delicious reminder to guests at the Inn of why harvest time for Michigan peaches is so special. And, if you can’t make it to the Inn to try our peach dishes, you can enjoy them at home. Click on the peach recipe name to link to our delicious recipes.
Harvest Times For Local Michigan Peaches
- Early August – Flaming Fury
- Middle August – Red Haven, All Star, Glowing Star, Rising Star, Coral Star
- Late August – Harmony, Loring, Glo Haven
- Early September – Red Skin, Baby Gold